We’ve all heard that breakfast is the Most Important Meal. But when it’s 7 a.m., you’ve got hungry kids who need to be fed and out the door and your brain simply can’t deal with constructing another meal — you might easily resort to the usual: cereal & milk or frozen waffles. And by “you,” I mean, “I.”
So I turned to nutritionists who offered healthy, cheap breakfast ideas for everyone who is too frazzled to create their own (me!).
Cheap Breakfast Ideas and Advice, from Nutritionists
Here’s what the experts told us.
Why is breakfast important?
“You’re literally breaking a fast and restoring your body with all the nutrients and energy it needs to take on the day,” says Rachel Naar, a registered dietician in New York.
What should you always include in your morning meal?
Aim to get whole foods and whole grains, Naar says. Plus, you should get a carbohydrate and a protein: You are the most insulin-resistant in the morning, so protein helps with blood sugar stabilization/ glycemic control, she says.
What ingredients should you always have at home for a budget-friendly breakfast?
Old fashioned rolled oats, eggs, milk, plain yogurt, frozen fruit, frozen spinach, nut butter and toast, says Rebecca Clyde, a registered dietitian nutritionist based in Salt Lake City.
“I love these ingredients because I can make yogurt bowls, overnight oats, smoothies and eggs, all of which are quick and portable.”
Six Simple Breakfast Recipes
Some of these can be made ahead.
By Rebecca Clyde
½ cup of dry Old Fashioned Oats oats
½ cup milk (any type)
½ cup of Greek yogurt
Optional: ½ sliced banana, 1 tsp peanut butter powder and chia seeds, ½ cup frozen berries
Directions: The night before (or a few days before), put the fruit and oats into a mason jar. Pour the milk over it. Seal. Put it into the refrigerator. Make this up to four days before eating. Eat cold, or warm it up in the microwave.
Whole grain toast with nut butter, topped with fruit or honey and cinnamon
By Rachel Naar
Whole grain toast
Honey or cinnamon
By Monica Ruiz-Noriega, of Vigeo Nutrition
1 cup of frozen berries
Handful of fresh or frozen spinach
¼ of a banana
Scoop of protein powder
1 cup plain yogurt or liquid of choice
Directions Blend everything together. Make the night before if desired.
By Melissa Schuster, registered dietitian nutritionist based in New York
3 ripe bananas
2 cups oats
¼ cup milk of choice
½ tbsp baking powder
½ tbsp cinnamon
1 cup blueberries
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash the bananas in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Line muffin tins with liners or oil spray. Bake for 20 minutes. Enjoy with melted peanut butter or tahini, or top with Greek yogurt.
Egg vegetable quiche cups
By Melissa Schuster
1 bag of frozen pepper
1 bag of frozen spinach
Directions Defrost the spinach and peppers. Whisk the eggs, and mix them with the vegetables. Ladle everything into muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through. These can be cooked ahead of time.
Yogurt with mix-ins
By Len Lopez, nutritionist and chiropractic sports physician
12 oz whole plain yogurt
Optional: hemp seeds, pecans, dark chocolate chips, cinnamon, raw honey and milk.
Directions Mix yogurt with your choice of toppings. Prepare ahead if desired.
Danielle Braff is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.